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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 2, 2014 8:50pm-9:36pm EST

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about his book on margaret thatcher. and then the life of a latin american hero. booktv and prime time is at 8 p.m. eastern. on next washington journal, mitt romney's former speech writer is on the show. and then jennifer lawless talks about the impact of women in politics. and your emails and phone calls and tweets. washington journal is live at 7 a.m. eastern daily on c-span. >> i think it is interesting to talk about how the republican party is less unified than the democratic party. i think it is an interesting time to be study this. for the first time in recent
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years we are seeing a republican party that is facing problems the democrats faced 30 years ago. >> the interplay of what is happening and the context of how candidates are running matter more than the scandals themselves. especially if you are running in a context you can present yourself as part of an abused group. abused by the system. and you can play that well. whether that is the case that jeff talked about more roy moore in alabama who used the ten commandments as an attack on christian conservatives. i think that is the case >> the state of the national parties and the look at political recovery.
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saturday morning. and the best selling author ben king is on at noon. and on c-span 3, american history looks back at the impeachment of william jefferson clinton. >> now we feature nina muck talking about the promise and failure of the village project which had the goal of eradicating poverty around the world. >> thanks. i have been a fan of these events that you have ran and i wrote him and asked him if he would allow me to present nina. i am glad to be here. and i am the economics and book
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review editor. we have being tell reported by booktv and a reporter from bearings. so we're covered in two ways. >> everything is on the record. >> whatever you say can be used against you. jeffrey sacks told us this book isn't worth reading. they went on the record last week as declaring i cannot account for nina being so much c ci synanism. she has to confess she
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did write about jeffrey sacks for vanity fair. and i think she said you don't have to read the book to blurb it. he said it is a commitment to the live of jeffrey sacks and how much can be achieved by the determination. and admirers will be encouraged to read the book and may have a rude shock when they do. and it was written the book is about a set of ideas that are intriguing and there is something important in there but it isn't clear what is about. we hit page part here. and another blurb and powerful
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expose of hubrick and running a muck. that is accurate. but the professor from nyu wrote the following: the most readable account of foreign aid every written it is shown that nothing about foreign aid is easy. jeffrey sachs offered a message to westerners: that they could be the saver areas who could end poverty in south africa. and realizing it is never that easy. nina is the author of a previous
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book called "fools rush in" not a bad title for the current book except fool would be change today the singular. she said the book was a different experience but in a way it was similar because they reminded her of jeffrey sachs. but i want to begin by quoting from her statement about sachs and anybody who reads the book they will realize she bends over backwards to be respectful and kind to do him justice. sachs presents with a choice that is no choice. you either leave people do
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decide or do something about it. who can resist his plan? after all two million people are scraping by on less than a dollar or two a day. [ applause ] >> tell us for those watching booktv who have never heard of jeffrey sachs -- who was he, how did you meet him and why did you write a book about him? >> he is best known for the 2005-2006 book called the "the end of poverty" and it is a very hopefully book. i was immediately interested in this man who i read the book.
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he assured the readers we can end poverty for the millions who live lives of deprivation. i met him in 2006 not long after the book came out. and i wrote a profile of him for vanity fair where i write. and that profile really convinced me this story required more research and was something i wanted to dedicate more time to. and it became a book and what started out as a six-month magazine project turned into a six or seven year book project.
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>> i will wrote from easterly's review. you were at ground level and create vivid characters in the book. and it is said you chose two villages and with skills she tells the village's story from the point of view of the local man in charge of sach's project in the village. they come alive on the page. tack about what happened there and what you saw. >> jeffrey sachs decided for those who are not familiar to start an organization. ...
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it's a truly desperate place, eric, populated, sparsely by camel, nomadic camel herders. it really i would say has no reason for being. there is no economy to speak of
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with the exception of gunrunning and cattle raiding and there is an extraordinary amount of violence as you can imagine as a result of the civil war in somalia. guns pour across the porous border. there is no water and resources are very scarce. it's almost impossible to grow anything. when the rainy season does finally, and it comes with greater increasing -- increase it tends to drain and everything is washed away. one can sometimes go for years where there is no rain at all in everyone's camels died. there is no opportunity and there is no hope. it was in this village that jeffrey sachs proposed to demonstrate the poverty could be ended and in fact poverty could be ended and a place as desperate as their arguably poverty could be eliminated just about anywhere and if he could prove the experiment so-called worked in a place of such
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extreme misery, then we should be able to make it work almost anywhere. >> you mentioned here too. talk a little bit more as well as europe. >> what was interesting about jeffrey sachs' ideas from the beginning as he recognized that he had to show that his experiments are his ideas branding poverty could work in various places. so he chose purposely villages that were in a variety of different kinds of agricultural environments. so by sharp contrast to this arid camel herding community on the border of somalia and kenya the other village i spent a great deal of time and was in the southwestern corner of uganda. it is hilly and the main crop is bananas. it's quite green as long as the
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soil isn't least of any new bird bird -- nutrients. they are christians as the post to muslims in the somali communities. they are subtle farmers. i spent my time focusing on two communities that have absolutely nothing in common except for the intervention of jeffrey sachs and the millennium villages project. >> all right, oh yes. as another indication of nina munk's dedication she has -- we didn't always see eye-to-eye and he never asked for my manuscripts nor did he try to censor me. as nina points out all he did was try to deny her access to information whenever the
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information was unfortunate for his project rio as she writes in her book herself, itself, that when the thing, that things are getting a little bit tough, she for internal purposes found the millennium villages commissioned to most -- postmortem reports to discover why so few farmers had upheld their side of the mutual accountability. when i asked "the new yorker" for copies of airports my request was dismissed. the reports were not rigorous. i was informed. the millennium had nothing to gain. tell us a vet about what that was in the mutual accountability bargain and what frustration she did experience after a while when these projects were
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continuing. >> i think jeffrey sachs is a character who too many of us is recognizable. he is a monomaniacal, very brilliant man who set out to try to accomplish something enormous and really staked his career on the claim that he could end poverty and he could do it in our lifetime. and very graciously i think he allowed me to shadow him in a way that is terribly intrusive. anyone of you who have had a journalist like me cover you know that it's intrusive and it's not fun. i asked a lot of questions. i stick rhinos in everywhere and i demand to see every document in when things were going where, where -- well that was marvelous all-around. jeff sachs was vocal and i was hopeful that the outcome would be a positive one. who doesn't want properties to be ended and yet as the time went by and it's it became clear
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from the work that i was doing in the villages from the ground level that the hurdles forever greater. i compared it to some people have asked me about the game where you keep trying to knock down the things that pop up. whack-a-mole, thank you, thank you. that's exactly what it is and this was very much sachs and his team would implement villages and make improvements and there would be improvements but as soon as they thought they have solved one problem there would be a host of unintended consequences that would pop up and then they would wind up having to whack all of these problems down. it was really heartbreaking to see what was happening. from a journalistic standpoint and from the perspective of someone who cares about the visibility and about transparency i suppose you could say as a journalist, what was equally heartbreaking was that jeffrey sachs and his team
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became ever more entrenched and the data that was coming out of the organization was increasingly problematic. the numbers no longer matched up with what i was seeing and the end reports and the figures and the studies that were coming out were clearly misrepresented. there was a growing amount of august vacation and in so many ways it really mirrored what i think happens unfortunately in a large number of ngos of non-profits generally which is that people are under tremendous pressure to raise money for their donors and to satisfy their donors and to make sure that their donors don't feel that their money has been wasted. none of us wants to think when we get $100 to an organization that it's all gone missing or it has been stolen or it has just been wasted. and so it was very disheartening for me to see what actually happened. the disconnect between the reality on the ground and what was being told in the official
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publications and press releases of the organization. >> thanks. i now again i'm going to quote from northern easterly. this is not working. sorry, sorry. excuse me. easterly was not interviewed for the book by nina munk but he is quoted briefly and mentions in his review the following. i quoted one point in "the idealist" as remarking that sachs has tried to create an island of success in a sea of failure and maybe he is duh but it doesn't address the see of failure. actually, i got that wrong he writes. munk raises doubts about the island of success but you also quote from nina's book in this
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way. i think a key point and this comes up several times in her book is the following on page 217. the director of u.k. institute of development studies asked the obvious question. who will pay for this once the donors leave? in other words, are we creating an internal dependency? aren't we doing these people a disservice by not providing them with the means for sustainability. nina? >> you know, i said this on a radio interview the other day. it does not give many me any pleasure to after reporting my book that jeffrey sachs' experiment is by any standards a disappointment certainly and arguably even a failure. i don't take any pleasure in that.
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and i have said many times and i will continue to say that when i began this project, i truly was hopeful and i'm a great skeptic both by nature and by profession. that is what journalists do, but i was really hopeful that this project would turn out well. and i think they'll easterly who of course we do have to take his review with a grain of salt because he is very well-known as a great jeff sachs nemesis and he too is a brilliant man. when gene mentions i didn't interview easterly for the book i did that on purpose. i did anyone to be able to say or jeff sachs in particular to be able to say you were swept off your feet by my critics. i wanted to be clear that the it was i personally really is an outsider. i'm not a development expert. i'm not an economist.
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i'm simply a journalist. i went in there and watch what happened and i followed the story as it unfolded on the ground and frankly i'd spend a lot more time in these villages than any other outsider has been certainly much more time than jeffrey sachs. and it is to migrate unhappiness to report that none of these experiments worked as intended. >> i want to quote one part of the book that william easterly actually criticizes. he said there should be no ad hominem attacks against jeffrey sachs and he interprets as to be an ad hominem attack. nina writes colon the university would have spent 8 million for townhouse. apart from its six bedrooms and working fireplace is what makes the house appealing is its south facing garden. the day we met the tulips in full bloom, he was grateful for
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that garden. >> it is a lovely house. [laughter] and i will say that built easterly is an academic. i'm a journalist. i think the details about the kinds of homes people live in are fascinating. call me a voyeuristic you want, that's fine but also to my defense, i think it's important and i think, know that all of us in this room where the live in an 8 million-dollar townhouse for rent in 8000-dollar month studio, we can even begin to understand the gulf between the ways we live between the extraordinary lives that the lead just by having running water let alone a garden with tulips growing with ease. to me part of the reason why it was important to point out that jeffrey sachs lives in an exquisitely beautiful townhouse
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on the upper west side is to demonstrate again how difficult it is for someone like jeffrey sachs to even begin to understand what it means to live the way people in the villages that he is trying to help live. i can tell you first-hand again that even in my case, and i spent a great deal of time in these villages. i slept in these huts with evil. i did to the best of my abilities, i attempted to empathize, to really understand how they lived. i don't even begin to scratch the surface. to be in a place where there is nothing as a reporter as an outsider always knowing that at any moment you can turn around and get the hell out and get on an airplane and go home. by definition it means you don't understand it and i can assure you as much as i don't ever really understand it, jeffrey sachs really really doesn't understand it.
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[laughter] >> another reason perhaps why jeffrey sachs has another quote from the book. it's never easy to disagree with jeffrey sachs. you might trigger an argument. you might rebel his feathers. in all likelihood he will make you feel small. you may call you misguided or ill-informed are ignorant and millennium project meetings where everyone in the room depended on sachs for his or her paycheck for being a dissenter took courage. that is clearly not a good character reference for anyone to run such a project you might remark. let me finally lead off with a quote from easterly on the general subject of where he stands and heavy comment on it. it it's not that we choose aid or no aid is easterly's message. aid has had focused successes such as vaccination programs that aid can't achieve the end of poverty.
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only homegrown development based on the dynamism of individuals in free societies can do that. just as it did for the lucky people of the world whose forebears climbed out of poverty. poor people are their own best resource in escaping poverty. conquering problems every day that are far greater than any you or i have to face. >> i couldn't agree more with that. i don't think that i agree entirely with dell easterly on all of this but arms but i agree with that. i feel strongly and i myself will leave deeply in charity and i believe in foreign aid but i think that it's very important to differentiate between charity, between doing good and so-called development. when i give money to an organization i adore called mary's meals that helps provide free lunches for school children
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in poverty-stricken areas, i don't imagine i'm changing the world over the course of history. i'm not that arrogant. i just don't believe that that's possible. so yes. >> okay. we can leave it open for questions. a. >> this is great. thank you very much. two questions. the singer bono is very close to jeff sachs and he is in recent years and particularly a couple of weeks ago made an announcement about the virtues of free. and investment and lifting the developing world out of poverty. and he is moving more and more in that direction. i was wondering if you happen to interview him because of his closeness with jeff sachs and also when will the day of reckoning come for sachs and the millennial project?
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the proof is going to be in the pudding someday. it's going to be publicly known and when will that day of reckoning, and when will the jury he in or out or whatever juries to? >> i did in fact interview bono. he was charming. he was one of the nicest people i have interviewed. he didn't hold me up for hours. that somehow it appears that celebrities due to poor journalist. i think bono is very much reflecting what the popular opinion is. when bono began with jeffrey sachs were my start working on the story it was very much that moment where people, the general public seemed to be behind a great surge in foreign aid that was a real belief i think still that or at least popular support for heavy influxes of foreign aid i think we have seen a dramatic shift and most recently with obama's visit to africa. i think it was made pointedly
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clear that the popular opinion is absolutely not to increase foreign aid. americans in survey after survey are against that for better or worse that more and more there is an idea of what we should be doing is backing investment investment in african helping business development helping the economic growth that quite frankly it is happening in some countries rather vigorously. and i forget you're the question. oh yes, my book. read my book. [inaudible] >> very soon i am hopeful. >> to quote the great economist pt bauer that aid, foreign aid can actually do harm and it does harm simply by empowering and strengthening governments that suppress development in their own countries. the whole approach that all aid is good, sometimes no. sometimes a does harm by
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suppressing development. don smith had a question. >> is there any indication that george soros or any of his staff is ready up look? >> i have a soft spot for george soros because to his great credit he was really, interviewed him very early on in this project and jeff sachs at the time. he is a cool customer and he said very casually, 50 million bucks. it might work, it might not work through the worst thing that happens is it doesn't work and i've just given away 50 million bucks for humanitarian cause and hey if it does work, well that's a bet i'm willing to take. as you know george soros is someone who likes high stake beds. >> rob milburn will you give
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george soros a call to find out if he read the book in what he thinks now put his $50 million did and where else he might spend that money, maybe on real development. >> or on a honeymoon. he got married last week. i don't read your book and i have to say all the reviews i've read and what i've heard tonight am absolutely inclined to read it but what i don't understand from what i've read and heard so far as what were the methods employed? what was he doing with the money how is it being spent and what was the plan? >> that's a very good question and the fundamental question and apart from just telling you to read my book the truth of the matter is there's nothing about jeff sachs's prescriptions that are actually -- absolutely novel. what is prescribing is rather than just building a school in a poor community or just digging a well his idea was that people were trapped by poverty in way that if he just looked after one
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problem without solving all of them holistically as an academic likes to say that there was no point. it was really a matter of a single-minded focus and doing a lot of things all at the same time, putting in the health care linick recruiting nurses, building wealth and bringing in diesel generators, solving the water problem in trying to hit everything in one -- a combination. some basic health services and schools and bringing in teacher, mosquito nets, sort of a packet of the dozen i would say a sick interventions. fertilizer and high-yield seeds and vaccinations for livestock. really a packet of fairly low-cost interventions that in his mind did them all at once
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had a sort of exponential impact. >> hi. i have to confess nina munk is my friend and classmate from colombia but i will ask a legitimate question. i'm originally from uganda and i was in uganda within the ugandan who worked with jeffrey sachs on some of these programs and he said the key problem was that he didn't listen a lot. he wanted to for example talk to presidents and not secretaries of the ministries who actually knew what was happening on the ground. my question is, how much was it about jeffrey sachs caring about the people and the projects and how much was said about him trying to prove that jeffrey sachs could do this amazing thing that perhaps would never
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be duplicated again and be remembered her a long time? he wondered why with all these these connections why did he have programs that could make capital available to african entrepreneurs. we know they're entrepreneurs who lacked access to capital my final question is do you think is the consequence of this whole experience with jeffrey sachs there's going to be some sort of a bat lash, people that might want to engage africa effectively will become a little reluctant now because of the experience with jeffrey sachs. >> milton is such an interesting question. i myself pondered often with jeffrey sachs, was he just deluded or was he actually conning himself? it was often difficult for me to understand why he didn't seem to be following the advice on the ground and why he didn't seem
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able to change course as i think watching it from the outside it seemed that he should have. and i think in the end, i feel very strongly that he has some of you know and gene alluded to here has been sharply critical of me and my book sense that has come out. i think there's a real poignancy there is sadness because of course you have to wonder, is refusing to engage since some of the ideas might look in refusing to discuss openly some of the failures of the project, is that in the best interest of the poor people in rural africa orders that an invest -- invested -- of jeff sachs and that's something you alluded to. it's something i can only venture to guess that. i really don't know. i forget what your other question is.
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you mentioned about the under secretaries and other people in the african ministries at lower levels. the truth of the matter is, there is i think in some way everything is in this together when it comes to not telling the truth about the failure of these programs. and i think not only the villagers whom i interviewed, not only the secretaries of different levels in the government and ministries in africa, not only the presidents, the last thing they want even if they know that jeff sachs broke limbs are ludicrous and is never going to work they are perfectly happy for obvious reasons to continue to encourage the infusion of this aid. the villagers themselves, i mean one of the astonishing discoveries when you spend enough time in these villages you discover how quickly these villagers realize that when the outsiders, when the white guys, the rich guys show up, how
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quickly they have to assume a certain persona, how quickly they have to assure that visitor that his donations are going to good use. i think any of us will do that. that's called survival and you'd a stupid not to. there becomes a kind of interdependency that can be quite dangerous. at some point who is going to break the glass and pull that emergency trigger and say this is the bloody joke. very few people. excellent point and i raise that point. i allude to is certainly my book this is a terrible thing jeffrey sachs has accused me of cynicism. i'm not cynical. i'm skeptical but i'm someone who believes deeply that transparency is the way forward. the only way to make donors want to help us to be fully transparent and to reveal and to speak openly about not just the successes but also the failures. by speaking about the failures,
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you i think a cord more weight to the successes. people are more likely to believe in the successes if you are honest about the failures. i think there could be a terrible backlash to this and that worries me deeply. >> thanks. that was really interesting. i used to work with jeffrey sachs and continue to work with the institute so it was really interesting to hear your perspective on that. i'm not sure i agree with everything but how complex development is and how difficult it is to do. one aspect of that is it's difficult to measure success and causality. i wonder if you could reflect a little red on what the villages would have been like, the state of the villages would have been like without the interventions and the millennium villages project. >> is such an important point
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because part of the difficulty with even a short talk like this is that people talk of these projects very much in black and white. it's a success or failure and that's not a related case at all. there's simply no doubt in and make it patently there and might look that when you pour $10 million into a village or 5 million into village are frankly half a million dollars euro point to see magnificent success stories. you see the impact of foreign aid anywhere you go in africa. people's lives are saved and people are lifted out of poverty. people have the opportunity to go to schools who may never gone to schools. children are pulled out of malarial comas. it's extraordinary to witness and it will make everyone in this room willing to give money to africa when you see it first-hand, trust me. that however, that kind of success, that incremental personal success where you are
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talking about helping a single person or 100 individual people is something very different than what jeffrey sachs promised us. i think jeffrey sachs in many people who stated this, jeffrey sachs great failing was to overpromise. the title of his book alone says it all. he promised is not that he was going to transform the lives of people in a dozen villages but that he was going to give us a model to end poverty in our lifetime. he was going to give us a model that could be scaled up and replicated in any environment. that is what to this day no one has figured out. none of us knows how to do it unfortunately. economists like dull easterly and jeffrey sachs can argue until the cows come home and they will not have a solution because we don't know how people are uplifted out of poverty. we have an inkling and we understand it's related to economic growth winter stand prosperity and wealth are related do we don't really know the drivers are and what exactly
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make it to happen. otherwise who defended it by now his speech is one thing i want to add is a follow-up to that. i think one thing and i don't know if you have talked about in the book is the one thing that's interesting to mention is that jeffrey is working across scales so there is the millennial village project but i think for the maloney him sustainable goals that jeff is helping to lead with the secretary-general is also raising awareness at the high political levels as well. >> two chapters in my book are devoted to his really extraordinary work on malaria for example. he is done i think probably more than anyone in advancing some very practical ways to reduce malarial transmission in africa and he's been a bit of dissent dissent -- on that front. you should e-mail on --
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me after you read the book and i'd be interested to know what you think. >> i just wanted to know are you aware and the sachs is in effect that most african nations are at the bottom of the economic freedom indices? africa's most regulated country in the world. did that ever come up? >> is that a rhetorical question. one of the fascinating things about my book is the journey that i travel him i should say which a reporter might look is that jeffrey sachs himself progressed originally from thinking he could go in and provide water and better health care and better schools and at some point along the way realize very quick way and it strikes one is obvious in hindsight is
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things often do that in fact the key to this was providing some sort of this is infrastructure. suddenly he began to old to figure out a way to get this is up and running. the only way to create long-term wealth as melton said earlier as well is to create businesses. for africa as you say as from many countries that remain poor and mired in poverty it's often one discovers there's enormous amount of regulation strangling places or the corruption is so intense you can start a business must you pay off 10 people or there are no roads to get your product out. naturally that's a terrible problem. >> in your book you document that early on jeffrey sachs wanted deregulation for russia. he wanted deregulation basically
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for capitalism for some of these other countries. he has been accused of being oddly inconsistent and he didn't think the african should have deregulation. he didn't emphasize that the way he had for some of these others. >> i think to be fair, that was not where he began his quest to end poverty in africa. arguably he could've started from the pro-business route. he was opposed to it. that wasn't the way he went about it rightly or wrongly. >> next question. >> you address the corruption of the leadership in africa? steam my question is china's involvement, the chinese government involvement in the country for their self-interest. >> they're both such important issues of course for the continent. i do absolutely address corruption. i go out of my way in the look look -- my book i try hard and anyone
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who has read it can attest to this. i travel very lightly and i just observe and let my reader reach his or her own conclusions. i think you see over and over again the fact that in the government clearly things go missing and things disappear. money goes missing in solar panels disappear overnight. i think i've moved to the problems of corruption. and yet my book is not about corruption. it's something much larger of which corruption is one part. china also is something that i talk about in the book. again the book is not about china. china such an important motto -- model. they have been piling enormous amounts of money to africa but interestingly china itself has lifted hundreds of people out of poverty more successfully than anyone else in recent years. they have their own methods of doing that. whether those methods are relevant to africa or not is a question that i posed.
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i certainly don't answer it but i think it's something that's on the forefront of the minds of anyone who's interested in the subject. >> you said you are not cynical but skeptical and i was just wondering did this experience make you more broadly skeptical in general and did you find yourself thinking scientist and his team experts and politicians across-the-board are actually useless self or motors or something like that? >> are you a journalist? >> yeah, sometimes. >> i think it you can't possibly be a journalist unless you question everything and we are taught to do that. many people call us cynical and many people complain about us. i have heard it all and they may be right, they may be wrong but i will tell you i don't t


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